These last few months have just been WET. Sadly many places near rivers have been flooded many times as the rivers burst over their banks. You may remember our protests, as boaters, over the swinging cuts in government finance to British Waterways. The same financial cuts have also affected the Environment Agency. Now they are responsible for the environment and flood defences! With the change of Prime Minister heads have rolled but it is too late to save those flooded houses. Why do they allow houses to be built on flood plains?
Canals are relatively safe with weirs and locks to control the water level. Some water comes from lakes and reservoirs but also from rivers fed directly into the canal. After a particularly very heavy down pour all day we found our ropes had got tight. The water level went up by 11 inches by the end of the afternoon. We had to slacken the ropes as the boat started leaning over! British Waterways have actually issued flood notices. They closed Braunston Tunnel. So much water rushed into the tunnel that it took in a lot of silt, rubble and debris with it. Some say that it may have to be dredged out and the tunnel inspected before opening it to navigation. Also the canal is closed going south from Napton to Oxford! But by the next day it was open down to Banbury but not beyond where the river Cherwell joins the canal.
Have just seen this picture of a lock at Stourport which is under water.
The Staffordshire & Worcestershire canal joins the river Severn here. It was back in 2003 that we came this way in our boat. I cannot imagine what it must be like going down that swollen river past Worcester and off at Tewkesbury where the lower Avon joins the Severn. Tewkesbury has been turned into an island!